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Old 11-12-2009, 10:49 AM   #1
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cost of prostate cancer surgery

Does anyone know what is the typical cost of open prostate cancer surgery, and what part of that is the surgeon's fee? (The reason I am asking -- if it matters -- is a friend is considering having surgery performed by a surgeon who is not covered by his insurance, though the hospital is covered -- so he would have to pay the surgeon's fee out of pocket, without any contractual reduction).

 
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Old 11-12-2009, 12:43 PM   #2
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Re: cost of prostate cancer surgery

While I don't have a ready answer for you, since this has to vary by surgeon, but I would think the direct approach would be a good one to choose, such as asking the surgeon and explaining the circumstances. There's no such thing as a single price anyways- there are set billing rates that are then reduced by insurance company or Medicare or there are negotiated rates by others. Anyone who pays the "stated retail" is overpaying and creating a windfall for the provider, in my opinion.

 
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Old 11-12-2009, 01:47 PM   #3
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Re: cost of prostate cancer surgery

Quote:
Originally Posted by medved View Post
Does anyone know what is the typical cost of open prostate cancer surgery, and what part of that is the surgeon's fee? (The reason I am asking -- if it matters -- is a friend is considering having surgery performed by a surgeon who is not covered by his insurance, though the hospital is covered -- so he would have to pay the surgeon's fee out of pocket, without any contractual reduction).
Hi medved,

I don't know, but I can add this to what daff contributed.

I've encountered the circumstance you describe where a highly expert physician elects not to take insurance or Medicare but his hospital does. Years ago that was the situation for patients treated by Dr. Patrick Walsh at Johns Hopkins, as I recall it. No doubt a typical surgeon's fee would be well below what such an expert would charge.

In his recent book "Prostate & Cancer," Dr. Sheldon Marks, MD, in his chapter "Cost of Treatments," estimates that "Radical prostatectomy, with hospital and doctors' fees (including the anesthesiologist, pathologist and assistant surgeon) will run $15,000 to $35,000 or more. Lap robotic surgery may cost a little more because of the use of the robot and more disposable equipment, but with shorter hospitalization." (p. 271) Dr. Marks also notes that "Actual costs vary quite a bit from one location to another. Costs tend to be a lot higher in big cities and on the coasts. Perhaps more importantly, the doctors' and hospitals' own costs to provide the medical services tend to be quite a bit more with higher overhead and expenses."

(By the way, Dr. Marks's book needs to be taken with a large grain of salt. It has many outstanding aspects , but I believe a jury of objective observers would not a powerful bias toward surgery for the kinds of cases where surgery competes with other approaches . It also appears to me that Dr. Marks has not adequately updated some of his topics, including active surveillance, radiation, and hormonal therapy in particular, to incorporate knowledge from medical research during this decade. I hope he will do that in the next edition.)

Take care,

Jim

 
Old 11-29-2009, 08:00 AM   #4
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Re: cost of prostate cancer surgery

Two years ago I paid $12,500 out of pocket for one of the best surgeons in the country and it was worth every penny. Everything else was in the $55K hospital bill which was covered by insurance. I had robotic surgery and was in the hospital one night.

Last edited by Kemahsabe; 11-29-2009 at 08:01 AM.

 
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